We present two examples from our work studying commissioning in the English National Health Service (NHS) to illustrate our struggles with case studies. The first is a study of Practice-based Commissioning groups and the second is a study of the early workings of Clinical Commissioning Groups. In both instances we show how ideas of what constituted our unit of analysis and the boundaries of our cases became less clear as our research progressed. We also discuss pressures we experienced to add more case studies to our projects. These examples illustrate the primacy for us of understanding interactions between place, local history and rapidly developing policy initiatives. Understanding cases in this way can be challenging in a context where research funders hold different views of what constitutes a case.
Segar, J., Checkland, K., Coleman, A. and McDermott, I. (2015), "Thinking about Case Studies in 3-D: Researching the NHS Clinical Commissioning Landscape in England", Case Study Evaluation: Past, Present and Future Challenges (Advances in Program Evaluation, Vol. 15), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 85-105. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1474-786320140000015004
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